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Vasant Panchami is the Hindu festival that highlights the coming of spring.
11. Goddess of knowledge
Basant Panchami a festival celebrated in honour of Maa Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music and art. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksh or bright half of the month Magh , the first day of spring. Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first words; brahmins are fed; ancestor worship, shrad, is performed; the god of love Kam dev is alsoworshipped; and most schools organise special prayer for Saraswati. The color yellow also plays a vital role in this festival, in that people usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshipped dressed in yellow, and yellow sweets are consumed within the families.
Also known as Saraswati Puja, this festival is celebrated in Nepal, India and Bangladesh to invoke wisdom and consciousness in human beings. Apart from wisdom, Saraswati is also the deity for fine and performing arts. In West Bengal saraswati puja is celebrated in Hindu households and also in schools and colleges. Bengali men are usually dressed in traditional dhoti kurtas. Women are dressed in yellow saries. With Her grace, the mute were able to speak and people have been blessed with the ability to compose literature. Most new people in the arts or music industry choose to begin their careers on this day. Devi Saraswati also showers Her blessings for students.Notebooks, pencils and pens are kept at the Devis feet for blessings and then used by the students. A noticeboard asks the students to write their names, address and the roll number on a piece of paper and put it in the havan kund that was used for pooja after praying for success. It is believed that they are blessed with good and positive results.
There are various rituals that are followed in
the worshipping of goddess Saraswati. The
ones common to all those worshipping
Saraswati are that the idol of the goddess is
clothed in white, the other predominant colour
in the celebrations is yellow, to indicate the
onset of spring and the blossoming of mustard
flowers. Families dressed in bright yellow
gather together before the idol of Saraswati and pray for the blessing of knowledge.
Flowers, fruits, sweets are offered to the goddess. The students place their books before
the deity and do not do any reading or writing that day. An elaborate puja, with
sandalwood, ghee, joss sticks, and incense is done to the sound of shlokas, conch shells,
and drums. On this day, people eat Satwik food and initiate children into the world of the
written word. Traditionally, priests make children write the word Om.
13. Celebration in Different States
Vasant Panchni also known as Saraswati Puja is known as Basant Panchmi in Punjab. People in north India fly kites to celebrate the day. The sky can be seen full of colourful kites flying all over the blue space.
In Orissa, Bhuvaneshwar gears itself for celebration of Vasant Panchami. The festival is rejoiced with great fervor in cities like Cuttack, Bhuvaneshwar, Rourkela and Berhampur.
West Bengal is not lagging behind when it comes to the celebration of Saraswati Puja. Throughout the state, the festival is performed in schools, colleges and communities. In all educational institutions, especially in music, arts and crafts institutions, Saraswati Puja is observed with devotion and reverence.
In Assam, the Saraswati Puja festival if celebrated with great enthusiasm in most of the educational institutes and many community clubs run by the youngsters.
14. How to celebrate basant panchami
Vasant Panchami is an important Indian festival celebrated every year in the month of Magh according to the Hindu calendar. Vasant Panchami, also known as Saraswati Puja, Shree Panchami, or the Basant Festival of Kites is a Sikh and Hindu festival held on the fifth day of Magha Vasant Panchami day is dedicated to Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. Goddess Saraswati is worshiped on Vasant Panchami day. Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami The spring festival of Basant Panchami is especially celebrated in the institutions of learning. As Saraswati is the goddess of learning, Students observe the blessings from Maa Saraswati. Spring is the season when crops are fully bloomed, so people also celebrate this occasion by flying kites.
15. Maa saraswati
Maa Saraswati is strongly worshiped as the goddess of knowledge & purity. She is depicted as a beautiful woman with four arms, and is usually shown wearing a spotless white sari and seated on a white lotus. She rides a white swan. She is the mother of the Vedas.
16. Students worship
elebrated Basant Panchami with the worship of goddess Saraswati here on Friday. Students thronged the city temples for paying obeisance while sweet yellow coloured dishes were cooked to mark the festival. The festival was also celebrated in schools.
Thousands of devotees visited Bada Gopal Mandir, Chhatri Chowk. Idols of Lord Krishna and Radha, Balram were beautifully decorated in yellow robes.
Dresses were made in Mathura and especially ordered for the festival. According to temple priest Arpit Joshi, worshipping was performed amid hails to Lord Krishna. Goddess Saraswati was also worshipped.
Discourses were recited and prasad distributed to devotees in evening. 40 day long festival of Vaishnav community also began on Basant Panchami.
17. Celebration in school
The children of the pre primary wing came dresses in yellow clothes, offered yellow colored flowers to the Goddess and also brought yellow colored food in their tiffins. The dress code of the teachers on that day was also yellow.
assembled together to pray and attain blessings from Goddess Saraswati to reach the epitome of knowledge. The pooja started with a beautiful Saraswati vandana and after that Prasad was distributed among the children. The children enjoyed the day, enlightened by the blessings of Maa Saraswati.
18. Yellow sweet
Boondi ke laddoo: Moulded sweet made from small dumplings of gram flour, fried and dipped in sugar syrup and garnished with nuts.
Besan ke laddoo: A moulded sweet made from roasted gram flour and powdered sugar.
Nariyal ki burfi: A rich coconut fudge flavoured with saffron.
19. Symbolism and iconography
The goddess Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, often seated on a white lotus, which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth. She not only embodies knowledge but also the experience of the highest reality. Her iconography is typically in white themes from dress to flowers to swan the colour symbolizing Sattwa Guna or purity, discrimination for true knowledge, insight and wisdom.
She is generally shown to have four arms, but sometimes just two. When shown with four hands, those hands symbolically mirror her husband Brahmas four heads, representing manas mind, sense, buddhi intellect, reasoning, citta imagination, creativity and ahamkar self consciousness, ego.Brahma represents the abstract, she action and reality.
The four hands hold items with symbolic meaning a pustaka book or script, a mala rosary, garland, a water pot and a musical instrument lute or vina.The book she holds symbolizes the Vedas representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as all forms of learning. A m?l? of crystals, representing the power of meditation, inner reflection and spirituality. A pot of water represents powers to purify the right from wrong, the clean from unclean, and the essence from the misleading. In some texts, the pot of water is symbolism for soma the drink that liberates and leads to knowledge.The musical instrument, typically a veena, represents all creative arts and sciences,and her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony.Saraswati is also associated with anur?ga, the love for and rhythm of music, which represents all emotions and feelings expressed in speech or music.
20. Goddess for Arts and Crafts
This festival is held in the month of Magh January February. It is a festival celebrated by the youth, particularly students who invoke the blessings of the goddess for success in learning, arts and crafts. More than any other state, Saraswati Puja is celebrated in West Bengal in a splendid manner. Next to West Bengal it is celebrated in southern states of India such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh etc. in schools, colleges and homes. Saraswati Pooja is celebrated as Basant Punjami OR Vasanat Punjami in many states of India.
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